"Frankenstorm" hybrid may be created as Sandy nears East Coast

 

Boston, USA

Hurricane Sandy will probably grow into a "Frankenstorm" as it nears the Northeast early next week with wind and rain that may cause millions of dollars in damage anywhere from Washington to New York and Boston.

Sandy, a Category 2 storm with winds of 105 miles (169 kilometers) per hour, will begin to transform into a hybrid system as it closes in on the East Coast, said Tom Downs, a forecaster at Weather 2000 Inc. in New York.

"The guys in the government are calling it 'Frankenstorm'" because it will be a hybrid between a tropical system and a nor'easter, Downs said. "It is safe to say that there will be millions of dollars in damage."

Sandy was 25 miles east of Great Exuma in the central Bahamas as of 1 p.m. New York time, according to a National Hurricane Center advisory. It was moving north at 20 mph on a wobbling track that nears New Jersey on Oct. 30.

Sandy damaged at least 3,000 homes in eastern Cuba, along with coffee and tomato crops, according to Air Worldwide, a catastrophic modeling firm in Boston.

On Jamaica, where Sandy hit Wednesday, 70 percent of the island lost power, roofs were torn from off homes and roads were blocked by downed trees and floods, according to Air Worldwide.

A hurricane gets its power from warm ocean waters, while a nor'easter gains strength from differences in air temperature, Downs said. Sandy, a big, warm tropical system, is going to collide with cold air and low pressure along the eastern U.S., combing the elements of both.

"So this is going to be a hybrid storm with wind flow over a wider area than a hurricane," Downs said by telephone. "You're not going to experience the massive damage in a concentrated area. Any damage is going to be more widespread but it isn't going to be as catastrophic as a hurricane."

The amount of damage the East Coast is going to absorb is hard to estimate because the storm's track is in a state of flux, said Tom Larsen, senior vice president and product architect at Eqecat Inc., a risk modeler in Oakland, Calif.

Larsen said he doesn't expect Sandy to be worse than Irene, which struck the East Coast in August 2011, killing at least 45 people and causing at least $15.8 billion in damage, according to the hurricane center.

"Right now, in terms of loss levels, Irene is the best kind of guideline," Larsen said. "It doesn't look to be a whole lot worse than Irene."

Because weather models keep changing, Sandy's official track will change as well, Downs said. The hurricane center warns that tracks are just estimates and subject to change.

"Regardless of the exact track of Sandy, it is likely that significant impacts will be felt over portions of the U.S. East Coast through the weekend into early next week," Michael Brennan, a senior hurricane specialist at the center in Miami, said in a forecast analysis.

The storm may hit anywhere from the mid-Atlantic states starting Oct. 28 to southern New England later in the week, said Gary Best, a meteorologist for Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire.

"A very complicated situation is going on right now," Best said by telephone. "As it moves across the western Atlantic, it is going to encounter a dip in the jet stream. There will be a lot of energy coming in from the West and it may try to capture the storm and pull it into the U.S. coastline."

New York City has a 55 percent chance of winds of at least 39 mph by Oct. 30, according to estimates by Tropical Storm Risk, a consortium of experts on insurance, risk management and climate supported by the British government.

Cold air over the Appalachian Mountains may mix with the moisture and drop several inches of snow, Best said. The cities along the East Coast will probably have rain.

 

— With assistance from Jim Polson and Henry Goldman in New York, Lynn Doan in San Francisco, Yee Kai Pin in Singapore and Julie Johnsson in Chicago.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
i100
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, RSPSS, R, AI, CPLEX, SQL)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Law Costs

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...

Junior VB.NET Application Developer (ASP.NET, SQL, Graduate)

£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...

C# .NET Web Developer (ASP.NET, JavaScript, jQuery, XML, XLST)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution